It’s not unusual when you find out you’re pregnant to have a wealth of people offer to gift you their old baby products, especially if they’re not planning on having any more kids. You can get a gold mine of stuff from friends and family members that have little wear and tear on them and can save you tons of money. Baby clothes are a good example of something that you probably want to get second-hand because they have such a short shelf life with your growing baby. However, some hand-me-downs that you may be given are items that you shouldn’t use second-hand. These five items top the list of baby products you’re better off buying new:
1. Car seats
Just like milk in the fridge, car seats come with expiration dates. While you may think that the car seat looks like it’s in fine working condition, there’s really no way of knowing if all of the parts are in tip top shape or not. If you do decide to utilize a used car seat you should make sure that you check the expiration date, you have a current owner’s manual, and that you’ve checked for any product recalls that may have deemed the car seat unsafe. Even if you do all of these things, however, there’s still the potential that something could malfunction or that it’s broken, so you’re better off buying this new.
Cribs have changed so much over the years that it’s unwise to take a hand-me-down crib for your baby. Recently there has been a change in the safety standards for cribs, not to mention that older cribs could have slats that are too far apart, drop rails that are no longer considered safe, or too much space between the crib frame and the mattress. All of these can pose safety risks for your baby, making a brand new crib you’re best choice.
3. Crib mattresses
Inheriting a used crib mattress may seem like a good idea, especially considering how little time your baby will sleep on it. However, there’s no way of knowing if the mattress is sanitary or not, and the last thing you want is for your child to contract some sort of disease or virus from an infected mattress. If you do opt for a used crib mattress you should make sure that it fits snugly into your crib and that you have a plastic mattress cover over it to avoid posing any safety risks to your newborn.
4. Breast pumps
Getting breast pumps completely clean and free of any harmful bacteria can be tricky, so it’s best to skip buying a used pump, even if it seems like it would save you a lot of money. Since you can never fully ensure that it’s completely sanitized it’s best to just buy one new.
Most parents use their strollers a lot, which means they’re subject to quite a bit of wear and tear. Because of how much wear they get, it’s unwise to purchase this product used. If you do choose to buy used, however, you should check for any safety recalls prior to purchasing it, and do a thorough check of the stroller to make sure that everything is in working order.
Getting certain baby products second-hand can help alleviate a large chunk of the money you spend on your baby. However, not all products should be hand-me-downs. Sometimes it’s worth the extra money up front for a new product to ensure your baby’s health and safety.
Jack Meyer is a regular contributor for www.nannybackgroundcheck.com. As a detective he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.